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Staying in Pinstripes- Hitters

For those of you who missed it, the Baseball Think Factory released it's 2008 ZiPS Projections last week.

Now ZiPS main fault is that its projection does not take position depth into account; you tell the computer Alberto Gonzalez is a shortstop, and it uses a variety of age, stats and position comparisons to produces an average. We all know (or we pray) that Alberto will no be playing in 125 games for the Yankees in 2008- but that's what a shortstop with his history would expect.

Giambi 110 .241 .398 .482
Duncan 117 .242 .311 .469
Cano 149 .308 .349 .488
Betemit 131 .259 .335 .462
Jeter 151 .308 .386 .435
Damon 130 .279 .348 .408
Matsui 142 .290 .368 .476
Melky 159 .286 .352 .419
Abreu 156 .284 .391 .445

Thoughts after the jump:

ZiPS expects Giambi to play 30 more games in '08, adding .040 to both his OBP and SLG. While I don't share ZiPS optimism about games played, I think a more sparingly used Giambi will lift his slugging percentage, which will raise his OBP as pitchers approach him more carefully.

The projection is pretty close to the line that I drew up. It's a major drop off from his 2007 production (30 games). My biggest worry with Shelley is that if his decline isn't steep enough he'll actually get the 117 games that ZiPS projects. Duncan is a bad off the bench and a 1B/RF option against lefties.

Remember that you read it here first: Robinson Cano will have a breakout season in 2008. He'll be 25 years old, playing his forth season of more than 120 games, but just coming off his first full season. .330/.390/.550.

If WB can put up the numbers ZiPS pegs him for I'll be thrilled to put him on first or third for the entire season. I'm guessing that the Yanks will add either a third baseman so Betemit and Duncan can form a killer L/R combo at first. .240/.310/.450.

It almost gets boring looking at Jeter's stats- every year it's just about the same thing.

It's interesting that Damon projects as almost precisely the average centerfielder. This projection is pretty close to what I expect from him.

ZiPS suggests that Matsui will basically repeat his 2007 stats. I don't buy it. Now, I'm not very high on Hideki because of his pull everything approach, but he was never very fast and now he's another year older and coming off of knee surgery. I'm pencilling him in for 100 games at about .270/.340/.450.

This projects to be the same Melky we saw in 2007, though there is a decent bump in power. I'm hoping for a larger bump, though: say, .290/.350/.440. Bernie had a .050 point jump in SLG in his third season, though he was a year older at the time.

ZiPS expects Abreu to regain some OBP at the cost of SLG. I expect him to hit .300 and OBP close to .400. Hopefully Girardi was paying attention and will start Shelley in RF against tough lefties to save Bobby's swing.